No contravention, Sabah will go ahead with MM2H programme, says state minister

KOTA KINABALU (June 7): Sabah is determined to go ahead with its own state Malaysia My Second Home programme, claiming no contradiction with the national policy after Putrajaya suspended the operations of all licensed agents handling it.

State Tourism, Culture and Environment minister Datuk Christina Liew said that the state would be losing out to other countries in South-east Asia if it did not roll out the programme soon.

“No it will not contravene laws. We met with immigration, police, all relevant authorities and we are ready. My program is being delayed, unnecessarily and we will lose out to other countries around South-east Asia who are very interested,” she said when speaking to reporters today.

Liew, who said that the problem started on May 27, a few days before the planned roll out on June 1, when the federal Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (Motac) cancelled all MM2H licensed agents until further notice which left Sabah scrambling.

“So our alternative is to appoint our own qualified representatives to assist with the applications,” she said.

Liew, who yesterday issued a statement expressing displeasure at Motac’s move, iterated that her ministry has appealed to Motac to reconsider their decision.

“Hopefully we get approval from Motac, but if we don’t, we will still proceed with it,” she said.

The state’s version of MM2H is expected to be less restricted with the applicant’s age limit criteria lowered to 30 years and above and it will also allow programme participants to sell their properties after five years on condition they must buy a new house worth no less than RM600,000 and the SBH-MM2H agent must be from a local Sabah company.

Earlier today, Sarawak’s tourism, creative industry and performing arts minister Datuk Seri Abdul Karim Hamzah also told off Motac for its move, and threatened to also go ahead with its own programme, claiming there will be little repercussion.

“Does he think he’s a big man? Where there is dispute, it should be discussed amicably. Not one party bulldozing its will (on another).”

One of the differences between the federal MM2H and the state’s is that Sarawak’s version of the MM2H, the fixed deposit required is RM150,000 while the federal MM2H calls for RM1 million.

Both Sabah and Sarawak have autonomy over their immigration laws.

– Malay Mail